Monday, January 3, 2011

Post Holiday Breastfeeding Blues

The holidays are over and many babies have been sleeping too long on trips to Grandma's or otherwise thrown off their normal schedule.   These interrupted feedings can lead to plugged or clogged milk ducts.
Plugged milk ducts feel like a pebble or a pea under the skin or areola. They are best treated with hot compresses, breast massage during feeding , and pumping after the feeding. Place the baby's chin toward the plug if possible, massage from behind the plug towards the nipple, and pump for ten minutes after each nursing until resolved. Make sure you are not wearing a nursing bra that is too tight or that has an under wire pushing into your milk ducts.  Babies who are under 6 months should still be feeding at least 8 times per day and for 6-12 month old babies at least 5 times per day.  Make sure the feeding of solids hasn't impeded effective nursing and contributed to the plugged ducts.  If a baby nurses before solids, they will empty the breast more effectively than when they are mostly full on the solids.  Plus who wants to nurse after solids and get green beans on your breast?
Happy Nurturing!
Tanya